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Can dying languages, like animals, be saved from extinction? That's the difficult question being debated in Maine, where the Penobscot Nation is waging a determined fight to keep its melodic language alive.

Valentine Ranco (left) speaks Penobscot fluently but laments having no Wells, Maine, neighbors who share her native tongue. Maine's Joe Dana, holding a carved 'snake,' helps children learn the Penobscot language with games like snowsnake.
Valentine Ranco (left) speaks Penobscot fluently but laments having no Wells, Maine, neighbors who share her native tongue. Maine's Joe Dana, holding a carved "snake," helps children learn the Penobscot language with games like snowsnake. (Globe Staff Photo / Mark Wilson) Globe Staff Photo / Mark Wilson
By Stacey Chase
April 30, 2006

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BEFORE BEGINNING TODAY'S lesson, teacher Roger Paul, a dark ponytail hanging straight down his back, pulls a blond sweet-grass rope, braided like a little girl's pigtail, out of his leather medicine bag and sets one end on fire. Gathered in a lopsided circle are two boys and seven girls in the after-school language program at the Penobscot Nation Boys & ... (Full article: 2841 words)

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